Our client Ilya is engaged in the production of custom-made furniture. In 2020, supplies of fittings from the European Union began to be delayed. The business was losing money, but due to the pandemic, Ilya could not travel abroad to find new suppliers or renegotiate the conditions with the old ones.

A residence permit in Portugal solved the problem of traveling abroad during the pandemic. To participate in the program, Ilya chose to invest €350,000 in purchasing shares of an investment fund.

Yuri Murashko,

helped the investor to choose an investment fund and a residence permit in Portugal

We will tell you how Ilya chose a fund for investment and remotely opened an account in a Portuguese bank.

Our client: an investor from Krasnoyarsk

Герой — инвестор из Красноярска
Ilya, 34 years old

furniture factory owner
Client’s name and photo have been changed

Why does the investor’s family need a residence permit in the European Union?

To travel to the European Union without a visa. Ilya owns a custom-made furniture factory. He buys accessories from partners in Germany and Italy.

In 2020, due to the pandemic, the supply of fittings was delayed, the lead time increased. Some customers did not want to wait and left. Production was idle, Ilya was losing money.

Ilya could not go to the European Union and meet with suppliers to revise the terms of cooperation or find new partners as Italy and Germany closed their borders. Ilya had a valid Schengen visa, but even with that, a good reason was required for the trip. For example, family reunification, childbirth, or emergency treatment.

To obtain citizenship in the European Union. Ilya wanted his son to grow up cosmopolitan: received a European education, knew several languages and lived in different countries. It was easier to implement this plan if the child had EU citizenship.

Ilya heard about European citizenship programs for investors from an Immigrant Invest article. Ilya learned that some EU countries also issue residence permits by investment.

For quality furniture, fittings are everything. If I replace Europe with China, I will lose regular customers on which the business is supported. Therefore, I need the opportunity to go to the suppliers at any time.

Furthermore, my experience from living in Russia has forced me to always think ahead. My son is growing up and I want to give him the best which includes the choice of where to study, where to work and where to live.

Герой — инвестор из Красноярска
A residence permit and then citizenship in the European Union will help Ilya set up a business and give his son the opportunity to become a cosmopolitan

Why exactly a residence permit in Portugal

On the 11th of November, 2020, Ilya turned to Immigrant Invest to choose an investment program.

Ilya’s family could not immediately receive EU citizenship by investment. At the time of contacting Immigrant Invest, the Cypriot citizenship program was closed; the country finished accepting applications from investors on November 1st, 2020. The Government of Malta has been reviewing the conditions for granting citizenship to investors and has suspended applications pending the adoption of new rules.

Visa-free travel to the Schengen countries is possible with a residence permit in Portugal, Malta, Greece and Spain. The holder of a residence permit or permanent residence card has the right to travel to the country of residence at any time.

The prospect of citizenship without residing in the country. Ilya planned to become a citizen of a country where he would receive a residence permit by investment. However, he did not want to move from Russia yet.

Only the Portuguese program provided the prospect of citizenship without residing. In order to maintain a Portuguese residence permit and apply for citizenship, an investor needs to spend seven days a year in the country for five consecutive years.

7 days a year

is enough to spend in Portugal to maintain permanent residence and apply for citizenship

The rest of the EU does not allow investors to apply for citizenship without continuous residing. You cannot spend more than 10 months outside the state in the last five years before applying for citizenship.

Choosing an investment option: why investment funds, not real estate

Portugal offers investors eight investment options, from buying real estate to creating new jobs for Portuguese citizens. 91% of investors chose to buy real estate under the residence permit program in Portugal in 2020.

8 investment options

provided within a Portuguese residence by investment program

Ilya did not want to buy real estate: he understood that buying and maintaining real estate would require time and additional costs.

First you need to go to Portugal to select an object. This can be done remotely, but most buyers prefer to see the property in person before buying.

Upon purchase, a tax of up to 7% of the value of the object is paid, and then annually as a real estate tax in the amount of 0.3 to 0.8%. Property owners also spend money on the maintenance of the property, for example, pay for utilities. Plus, the income from renting out real estate does not always cover the costs.

Ilya did not plan to live in Portugal, so he saw no reason to spend time and money on the purchase and maintenance of overseas real estate. He chose a simpler option — buying shares of an investment fund.

When Ilya decided on the program and investment option, he entered into an agreement with Immigrant Invest to participate in the residence permit program in Portugal.

The procedure for purchasing units of an investment fund is completely remote. The program participant does not need to go to Portugal up to the submission of biometrics for the production of residence permit cards.

Unlike buying real estate, investing in funds allows you to save on taxes and maintenance. In fact, an investor can transfer money to the fund and receive passive income in the form of interest on the deposit for the next 5 to 10 years.

The fund option has been gaining popularity among investors since the end of 2020. Closed borders make it difficult to invest in real estate, but they don’t make it difficult to buy shares or take part in venture capital in Portugal.

Yuri Murashko,

expert of investment programs of the EU countries

Portugal residence permit for the purchase of investment fund shares: a step-by-step procedure

1

Register a tax number in Portugal

2
Open an account in a Portuguese bank
3

Pay for the purchase of units in the investment fund

4
Register in Portugal
5
Apply for a residence permit and submit biometrics
6
Get a residence permit card
1
Register a tax number in Portugal
2
Open an account in a Portuguese bank
3
Pay for the purchase of units in the investment fund
4
Register in Portugal
5
Apply for a residence permit and submit biometrics at the Portuguese Migration Service
6
Get a residence permit card

1. Obtaining a taxpayer number in Portugal. Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF) is an analogue of TIN. It is required for anyone who wants to open an account in a Portuguese bank and make payments in the country.

In order to obtain a Portugal tax number, an investor does not need to go to Portugal. A tax representative can act on his behalf: he receives a power of attorney in his name and visits the Portuguese tax office for the investor.

Immigrant Invest cooperates with a Portuguese company, whose lawyers become tax representatives for investors. To obtain the NIF, the lawyers handed over to the Ilya’s tax representative:

  • a completed application for registration of a taxpayer number;
  • a copy of the Russian passport and international passport;
  • a copy of a document with an individual taxpayer number in Russia;
  • confirmation of the investor’s professional activity and income.
The Portuguese tax service approved Ilya’s application and entered the investor into the register of taxpayers. Ilya also has a personal account on the website of the Portuguese tax service.

2. Opening a Portuguese bank account. All program payments must be made from a local bank account. On the advice of lawyers, Immigrant Invest Ilya chose Novo Banco, which provides services for remote account opening.

All new clients of the bank undergo a Due Diligence check. To go through it, Ilya provided passport details, Portuguese taxpayer number and contact details of his tax representative in Portugal. Also, lawyers sent to the bank confirmation of the legality of the investor’s sources of income.

Ilya had no problems with the law and always paid taxes on time, so the bank approved his application within an hour.

After a bank check, the investor issued a card with a sample signature. He did this in the presence of a notary, who assured the authenticity of the signature. The lawyers also sent the card to the Portuguese bank.

When the bank confirmed the opening and activation of the account, Ilya transferred the amount required to Portugal in order to participate in the program: €350,000 for the purchase of units in the fund and €30,000 for the associated costs of the program.

Choosing of an investment fund

An investor who participates in the residence permit program in Portugal cannot invest in just any fund. The fund must be registered in Portugal and invest at least 50% of the capital in Portuguese assets.

Immigrant Invest lawyers offered Ilya 15 investment funds to choose from. These are funds that meet the requirements of the program, have passed Due Diligence and provide an optimal balance of risk and return.

Ilya chose the Blue Crow investment fund for three reasons:

  1. The fund is engaged in investments in commercial real estate: industrial facilities, agricultural land and retail space. Ilya himself is the owner of an industrial facility and a former tenant of the production facility. He knows that investments in such real estate can bring up to 10% per annum.
  2. The return on investment in the fund is 5% per annum. Payments are made annually. Additionally, the fund will pay 10% of profits after closing in 2028.
  3. The fund provides investors with an early exit option. At the same time, the investor does not have to look for a buyer himself for his share in the fund. The fund will offer other investors to purchase shares or reduce its authorized capital by the value of the shares returned to the investor.

The participant of the residence permit program owns the shares of the investment fund for at least five years – this is a prerequisite for maintaining the status of a resident. However, we recommend not leaving the fund at least until you receive citizenship. Therefore, investors rarely take the opportunity to exit the fund early. This is insurance in case of an unforeseen situation.

Yuri Murashko,

expert of investment programs of the EU countries

Fulfillment of the investment condition: purchase of fund units

The fund also conducts its own Due Diligence. The investor confirms that the money for the investment was received in a legal way. To do this, he needs to provide:

  1. A tax return confirming the amount of the investment.
  2. Bank statement from the investor’s account for the last three months. The account balance must not be less than the investment amount.
  3. Certificate from the place of work.
  4. A certified copy of your passport.
  5. Portuguese taxpayer number.
  6. Bank details of the account in the Portuguese bank from which the payment for the purchase of the fund units will be transferred.

The fund’s Due Diligence took four days. After that, the fund sent a document called “capital call”. This is a written confirmation that the fund accepts to receive the investment from the applicant. The document also contains the bank details for the payment.

4 days

took Due Diligence in the investment fund

Ilya transferred €350,000 using bank details to the fund’s account at Millennium BCP bank. Transfers between Novo Banco and Millennium BCP are free of charge.

The commission for money transfers between accounts in different Portuguese banks depending on the terms of cooperation between the banks. For example, Novo Banco sets a standard fee for payments within the euro area – €3.75 for payments up to €50,000. The commission for other outgoing payments is 0.25% of the payment amount, but not more than €110. Novo Banco transfers money to some banks without commission.

Two weeks later, the lawyers received confirmation that the payment was credited to the fund’s account – the so-called signature declaration. It is submitted to the Portuguese Migration Service along with the investor’s application for a residence permit.

Residence permit in Portugal in 7 months

Renting a residence for residence registration in Portugal: The residence address is indicated on the residence permit card. To register, it is sufficient to rent the accommodation for a long period, e.g. one year.

Immigrant Invest real estate specialists found an apartment for Ilya in Porto. The lawyers checked the legal clarity of the property and the terms of the contract with the landlord. The one-bedroom flat cost Ilya €9,000 for one year.

€9,000

apartment rent in Portugal for one year

Apartments with a view to the historical center of Porto, Portugal

Apartments with a view to the historical center of Porto, Portugal

Apartments with a view to the historical center of Porto, Portugal

Apartments with a view to the historical center of Porto, Portugal
Apartments with a view to the historical center of Porto, Portugal
Apartments with a view to the historical center of Porto, Portugal

Apartment overlooking the historic centre of Porto, Portugal

Flat located in a restored 18th century building. It overlooks the Douro River and the historic centre of Porto.

The one-bedroom apartment is rented furnished. Air conditioning and high speed internet connection.

€9,000

rental cost per year

€309,000

price when buying

49 m²

apartment area

Preparation of documents for filing an application. The list of documents included:

  1. Copies of passports of Ilya and his wife.
  2. Police clearance certificates.
  3. Marriage certificate.
  4. Birth certificate of a son.
  5. Medical insurance for the whole family.
  6. Signature declaration from the investment fund.
  7. Rental contract and certificate of registration in Portugal.
  8. Government questionnaires and forms.

Submission of an application and biometrics. On December 14th, 2020, lawyers submitted an investor application to the Portuguese Migration Service. They also signed up Ilya’s family for fingerprints, which are needed to make biometric residence permit cards.

On the appointed day, Ilya and his wife flew to Lisbon. Immigrant Invest lawyers escorted the couple to the office of the migration service. Ilya and his wife passed the biometrics and returned home to await the decision on the application.

Obtaining residence permit cards. The approval from the Portuguese Migration Service came five and a half months later. After that, Ilya paid a fee for the production of residence permit cards – €5,340 per person.

5.5 months

took the processing of the investor’s application in the Portuguese Migration Service

€377,569 — Ilya’s expenses on obtaining a Portuguese residence permit

€350,000

purchase of investment fund units

€9,000

apartment rental for a year

€16,020

fee for the production of residence permit cards

€1,800

medical insurance

€749

application fee

Ilya received the completed residence permit cards by mail on June 18th, 2021, seven months after contacting Immigrant Invest.

November 11th, 2020

Ilya applied to Immigrant Invest

+ 1 week

Registration of taxpayer number and opening a bank account in Portugal
+ 3 weeks

Purchase of shares in an investment fund and renting a housing
+ 1 week

Applying and submitting biometrics at the Portuguese Migration Service
+ 5.5 months

Portuguese Migration Service approval

+ 3 weeks

Production of residence permit cards
June 18th,
2021

Ilya’s family received residence permit cards

November 11th, 2020

Ilya applied to Immigrant Invest

+ 1 week
Registration of taxpayer number and opening a bank account in Portugal
+ 3 weeks

Purchase of shares in an investment fund and renting a housing

+ 1 week
Applying and submitting biometrics at the Portuguese Migration Service
+ 5.5 months

Portuguese Migration Service approval

+ 3 weeks

Production of residence permit cards

June 18th, 2021

Ilya’s family received residence permit cards

The family’s future with Portuguese residence permit cards

Firstly, Ilya went to Milan to meet with suppliers. To travel, he did not need a visa; the investor used a Portuguese residence permit card to cross the Italian border.

In the winter of 2021, the family will go on holiday to Portugal. They will spend a week in a rented apartment in Porto: stroll through the old streets of the city, visit traditional wine cellars and ride the funicular with their son. After Porto, the family will travel to Setubal to sunbathe on the Atlantic coast.

During this time, the couple want to take a closer look at the local schools for their son. For example, in Porto, a child will be able to go to a public school at the place of registration.

Ilya wants his son to learn Portuguese and receive citizenship in the future. With a Portuguese passport, he will be able to enter a university, live and work in any EU country. Travel visa-free to 188 countries, including the Schengen area, Australia, UK, USA and Japan is also accessible.

Ilya does not plan to leave the fund ahead of schedule. His shares will be sold in 2030 – after the closure of the fund. So the investor will fully return the money invested, which he can spend on paying for his son’s education at a university or buying a house in the European Union.

A residence permit in Portugal to travel visa-free in the European Union: Milan, Italy

During his trips to Milan, Ilya always books hotels that are located in the historic center of the city. For example, not far from the Arch of Peace

A residence permit in Portugal to spend vacations in the country: the city of Porto

In Porto, the spouses want to take a ride on a cable-railway that connects the old city, Vila Nova de Gaia, with an esplanade

A residence permit in Portugal to travel visa-free in the European Union: Setubal, Portugal

For a beach holiday in Portugal, the couple chose the city of Setubal. It is located at the mouth of the Sado River, where dolphins swim from the Atlantic Ocean in the evenings

A residence permit in Portugal to travel visa-free in the European Union: Milan, Italy
A residence permit in Portugal to spend vacations in the country: the city of Porto
A residence permit in Portugal to travel visa-free in the European Union: Setubal, Portugal

We talked about all the possibilities that a Portuguese residence permit gives in the article “The advantages of the Portuguese golden visa”.

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